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Best of the South Island

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Admire the views of stunning Mount Cook

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Tailor-made Journey
Mount Cook Reflects on Lake Matheson, CJ - Best of the South Island

20 days from £3775pp


Some of the highlights included are:

  • Visit the iconic Lake Tekapo
  • Cruise beautiful Milford Sound
  • Sample New Zealand’s finest wines
  • Admire the views of stunning Mount Cook
  • Go whale watching in Kaikoura

Holiday Type

Wildlife & Nature
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What's included
  • Indirect international flights
  • 16 nights in 4-5* hotels & hand-picked accommodation
  • 17 days' car hire
  • Milford Sound Cruise with lunch
  • Nomad Tour - Safari of the Scenes, Wakatipu Basin
  • Franz Josef heli-hike
  • Beaches, Bays & Seals Guided tour
  • Scenic Marlborough Wine tour
  • Whale watching in Kaikoura
Need to know
  • Arrives: Christchurch International Airport (CHC)
  • Time difference: GMT+13
  • Visa requirements: British passport holders do not require a visa
  • Language: English and Maori
  • Currency: New Zealand dollar (NZD)
  • Flying time from UK: around 27 hours
  • Plug type: 3-prong flat blade plug
  • Voltage: 240 volts/50 cycles
Your route


Days 1-2
Fly from UK to London
Day 3

After settling in, spend the rest of your day at leisure. Watch as the historic trams wind their way through the city, enjoy a ride on a punt and glide along the attractive Avon River before enjoying sensational shopping at The Tannery and delectable cuisine in one of the many up-and-coming restaurants.

4* Rendezvous Hotel

Day 4
Lake Tekapo

A place of wondrous natural beauty and striking landscapes, the area boasts remarkable turquoise waters framed by New Zealand’s Southern Alps. A leisurely stroll along the lakeshore to the iconic Church of the Good Shepherd will yield breath-taking views and photo-ready vistas.

5* Peppers Bluewater Resort

Day 5
Aoraki Mount Cook

Other ways to appreciate the surroundings include heading to the Sir Edmund Hilary Alpine Centre, stargazing at the world’s largest International Dark-Sky Reserve or simply staring up at the mountain and its surrounding peaks.

4* Hermitage Hotel

Days 6-8

From walking and biking trails to skiing, river rafting, horse trekking and everything in between, you’ll never be short of things to do in Queenstown. While you’re here, set sail on a spectacular cruise across Milford Sound and explore the local Lord of the Rings film locations and the rugged canyons and rolling farmland of the Arrowtown area on a Safari of the Scenes tour.

4.5* Peppers Beacon

Milford Sound Cruise with lunch Nomad Tour - Safari of the Scenes, Wakatipu Basin

Days 9-10

Admiring the spectacular mountain scenery is the main activity here, or perhaps setting off into the wilderness of Mount Aspiring National Park. In town, the National Transport and Toy Museum has plenty to entertain the little ones, while older children will love the intriguing optical illusions and the mystifying maze at Puzzling World.

4* Oakridge Resort Lake Wanaka

Day 11
Franz Josef

This stunning natural phenomenon is a 7.5-mile-long glacier which descends to less than 300 metres above sea level and is surrounded by lush rainforest, making for an incredible sight. Marvel at the glacier from above on a thrilling helicopter ride and then gain an appreciation of the workings of nature on a glacier hike across its icy face.

4* Franz Alpine Retreat

Franz Josef heli-hike

Day 12

Punakaiki is also a good base for exploring the wilderness of Paparoa National Park, either by kayak, on foot or on horseback. There’s also a glow worm cave filled with stalactites and stalagmites to discover.

3* Punakaiki Resort

Days 13-14

In this region, hiking, mountain biking, fishing and canyoning are all popular pursuits, as is looking out for the colony of friendly fur seals. Lord of the Rings fans can take in a raft of local Hobbit hotspots such as Rivendell, Dimrill Dale and more.

4.5* Grand Mercure Nelson Monaco

Beaches, Bays & Seals Guided tour

Days 15-16

Visit some of the 40 local vineyards in and around Blenheim on a Scenic Marlborough Wine tour, sampling the vintages and learning more about wine production as you go. Perhaps buy a bottle or two to take home as a souvenir. And don’t forget to try the tasty local artisan food while you’re here as well.

4.5* Scenic Marlborough Hotel

Scenic Marlborough Wine tour

Day 17

Kaikoura’s most famous residents are the marine mammal – whales, dolphins and fur seals grace the waters year-round. Set off on a whale watching cruise, which run from the town throughout the year and offer you the chance to get a closer view of these beautiful creatures – you may even have the opportunity to swim with wild dolphins.

4* White Morph Motor Inn

Whale Watch Kaikoura

Day 18

4* Rendezvous Hotel

Days 19-20
Depart Christchurch and return to the UK

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